Hypertension is the most common condition seen in primary care and leads to myocardial infarction, stroke, renal failure, and death if not detected early and treated appropriately. Patients want to be assured that blood pressure (BP) treatment will reduce their disease burden, while clinicians want guidance on hypertension management using the best scientific evidence. This report takes a rigorous, evidence-based approach to recommend treatment thresholds, goals, and medications in the management of hypertension in adults. Evidence was drawn from randomized controlled trials, which represent the gold standard for determining efficacy and effectiveness. Evidence quality and recommendations were graded based on their effect on important outcomes.
There is strong evidence to support treating hypertensive persons aged 60 years or older to a BP goal of less than 150/90 mm Hg and hypertensive persons 30 through 59 years of age to a diastolic goal of less than 90 mm Hg; however, there is insufficient evidence in hypertensive persons younger than 60 years for a systolic goal, or in those younger than 30 years for a diastolic goal, so the panel recommends a BP of less than 140/90 mm Hg for those groups based on expert opinion. The same thresholds and goals are recommended for hypertensive adults with diabetes or nondiabetic chronic kidney disease (CKD) as for the general hypertensive population younger than 60 years. There is moderate evidence to support initiating drug treatment with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor, angiotensin receptor blocker, calcium channel blocker, or thiazide-type diuretic in the nonblack hypertensive population, including those with diabetes. In the black hypertensive population, including those with diabetes, a calcium channel blocker or thiazide-type diuretic is recommended as initial therapy. There is moderate evidence to support initial or add-on antihypertensive therapy with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker in persons with CKD to improve kidney outcomes.
Although this guideline provides evidence-based recommendations for the management of high BP and should meet the clinical needs of most patients, these recommendations are not a substitute for clinical judgment, and decisions about care must carefully consider and incorporate the clinical characteristics and circumstances of each individual patient.
Hypertension remains one of the most important preventable contributors to disease and death. Abundant evidence from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) has shown benefit of antihypertensive drug treatment in reducing important health outcomes in persons with hypertension.1– 3 Clinical guidelines are at the intersection between research evidence and clinical actions that can improve patient outcomes. The Institute of Medicine Report Clinical Practice Guidelines We Can Trust outlined a pathway to guideline development and is the approach that this panel aspired to in the creation of this report.4
The panel members appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) used rigorous evidence-based methods, developing Evidence Statements and recommendations for blood pressure (BP) treatment based on a systematic review of the literature to meet user needs, especially the needs of the primary care clinician. This report is an executive summary of the evidence and is designed to provide clear recommendations for all clinicians. Major differences from the previous JNC report are summarized inTable 1. The complete evidence summary and detailed description of the evidence review and methods are provided online (see Supplement). ….more